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Bhima Koregaon violence case: Supreme Court to take up bail plea of Vernon Gonsalves in January second week

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The Supreme Court on Friday posted the bail application of academidician Vernon Gonsalves, accused in the Elgar Parishad Maoist link case, for hearing in the second week of January.

The Bench led by Justice Ravindra Bhat ruled that it will take up the bail petition of Gonsalves along with the bail plea of Activist Arun Ferreira, also an accused in the Elgar Parishad Maoist link case.

Gonsalves had moved the Apex Court, challenging the Bombay High Court order, which denied him bail.

In May this year, the Bombay High Court had refused to grant default bail to Varavara Rao, Ferreira and Gonsalves in the Bhima Koregaon case.

Gonsalves was arrested on August 28, 2018 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), and has remained in a Pune jail since.

Senior Advocate Rebecca John, appearing for Gonsalves, submitted that three statements allegedly incriminating him were recovered from the laptops of other accused and were not related to him.

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Gonsalves said that an elementary question which arose was as to how, any of these documents were related to him. He said in the absence of any connection or independent witnesses, such documents cannot be used against him.

He further said that statements did not frame him at all. Only witness who said that Gonsalves was involved, would be protected.

The Activist said that bhad UAPA not been evoked, he would have been granted bail, even if the evidence was placed at a high pedestal.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, who appeared for the NIA, said that Gonsalves continued his illegal activities even after acquittal.

ASG Raju added that there’s a charge of 120B, all this is evidence under Section 10 of the Evidence Act.

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Admissibility of evidence cannot be raised at the stage of bail. Look at the arms found. Judgments of acquittals not produced, maybe they were passed because no one came to depose … Witnesses must have turned hostile”

The special NIA court was asked by the Supreme Court on Thursday to decide on framing charges against the Bhima Koregaon accused Vernon Gonsalves.

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